Sleep plays a vital role in our overall well-being, yet a significant number of adults find themselves deprived of sufficient rest each month. In 2022, a staggering 70 percent of adults reported getting inadequate sleep at least once a month, putting them at risk of developing sleep disorders. While the recommended eight hours of sleep is commonly known, the reality is that each individual’s sleep needs can vary.
Enter Dr. Michael Breus, widely known as ‘The Sleep Doctor’, who has devised an innovative tool called the sleep calculator method. This method aims to determine the precise amount of sleep a person needs to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.
Dr. Breus is a well-known sleep specialist and expert in the field of sleep medicine. He is a clinical psychologist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine.
A popular figure in the realm of sleep health, he has also appeared on various television shows, written books, and contributed to numerous publications. Dr. Breus is known for his expertise in sleep disorders, sleep hygiene, and strategies for improving sleep quality.
Ahead, we explore the sleep calculator method and how it can revolutionise your sleep routine.
Understanding the Sleep Calculator Method
A. Calculating Your Ideal Bedtime
- Start with your socially determined wake-up time.
- Subtract 7.5 hours from your wake-up time to determine your new bedtime.
- The average sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes, and the average person experiences five sleep cycles, totaling 7.5 hours of sleep.
Putting the Sleep Calculator Method into Practice
A. Week 1: Assessing Your Sleep Needs
- Follow the calculated bedtime for a week.
- If you consistently wake up before your alarm, you may not require the full 7.5 hours of sleep.
- Take note of any residual grogginess or daytime fatigue.
B. Fine-Tuning Your Sleep Schedule
- If you rely on an alarm clock to wake up, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you wake up naturally before the alarm.
- Continue adjusting your bedtime until you can consistently fall asleep easily and wake up feeling refreshed.
What are the Benefits of the Sleep Calculator Method?
A. Optimising Sleep Duration
- Discovering your individual sleep needs allows you to optimise your sleep duration.
- Adequate sleep can improve cognitive function, mood, and overall health.
B. Enhancing Sleep Quality
- Establishing a consistent sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s internal clock, promoting better sleep quality.
- The sleep calculator method aids in synchronising your sleep cycles, leading to more refreshing slumber.
C. Improving Sleep Efficiency
- By accurately determining your optimal sleep duration, you can avoid spending unnecessary time in bed.
- Maximising sleep efficiency allows you to make the most of your waking hours.
Do women need more sleep than men?
Dr. Breus has written about the topic of men and women needing different hours of sleep in his 2016 book The Power of When and has spoken about it in various interviews. According to his research and observations, there are differences in sleep needs between men and women.
Dr. Breus suggests that women generally need more sleep than men due to differences in their circadian rhythms and hormonal fluctuations. He explains that women tend to have more complex sleep patterns and often require more deep sleep and REM sleep than men.
Additionally, he emphasises the importance of individual variability and acknowledges that not all men and women fit into these generalisations. Sleep needs can vary greatly among individuals based on factors such as age, lifestyle, genetics, and overall health.
It’s worth noting that sleep requirements are highly individualised, and while there may be general trends, it’s essential to listen to your body and prioritise getting the amount of sleep that allows you to feel well-rested and refreshed. Consulting with a sleep specialist can provide personalised recommendations based on your specific needs and circumstances.
The bottom line?
Sleep is a fundamental pillar of our well-being, and the sleep calculator method offers a personalised approach to unlocking the secrets of a good night’s rest. By determining the ideal amount of sleep your body requires, you can achieve greater sleep quality, efficiency, and overall health.
Dr. Breus’ technique has the potential to provide a roadmap to a rejuvenating slumber, enabling you to wake up refreshed, energised, and ready to conquer the day. So, why settle for insufficient sleep when you can optimise your body clock and experience the transformative power of being well-rested?